CTC support

CTC Support

Organization: 
RTPNet
VISTA Name: 
Kimmora McKinnie
Program Start: 
8/2001
Program End: 
2/2002
Project Description: 

The anticipated outcome of this project is a functioning, responsive technology support service for TACT (Triangle Area Centers for Technology) that will assist technology centers which are primarily in low-income neighborhoods.

The purpose of TACT is to facilitate the introduction, use, and support of technology in community centers and schools in the Triangle area through partnerships that bring resources and needs together.

An anticipated by-product of TACT is the creation of technology support jobs in the community that provide a career path from entry-level jobs through various levels of support for technology center hardware and software to technical jobs in local companies.

The AmeriCorps VISTA will work with the technical support committee to plan and develop a working technology support group. They will also identify and document support services to be provided by the TACT technology support committee, develop an expertise list that the Help Desk will use to forward problems, develop lists of recommended hardware and software for technology centers, as well as installing and troubleshooting computer systems and providing routine maintenance.

Lab IT Coordinator

Organization: 
Media Arts Center San Diego
VISTA Name: 
Chris Anderson
Program Start: 
9/2010
Program End: 
9/2011
Project Description: 

The Corps member would support the Lab Program Manager in developing and refining web-based systems to manage day-to-day operations and growth of the lab. This includes projects like implementing an inventory system for all computers and media equipment, managing current and procuring new equipment, and developing training manuals for all devices.

Project Outcome: 

Our DAS Corps (Christopher Anderson) has been an enormous help to the organization as a whole. A list of accomplishments so far: Lead an audit of the current technology and inventory required by lab Installed new video and projection equipment for workshop instruction Initiated policies and procedures for recruiting workshop instructors Developed database segments for marketing and reporting on workshops and programs Actively contributed insight and tested new ways to manage inventory relative to membership Began migration of current workshop recruitment processes to Google Docs Chris has also stepped up to help with other things as needed, including designing brochures and other print material for assisting in marketing our workshops. Much of this was working under the supervision of the Lab Program Manager and Executive Director and alongside our Technology and Production Manager and helpful volunteers.

Many of the documents that our DAS Corps has created are now part of our procedures for recruiting instructors as well as registering people for our workshops. A lot of it was much needed ‘behind the scenes’ work. Perhaps the biggest change is a growth in membership through our DAS Corp’s continued efforts directing people to the growing resources here at the center. Our DAS Corps has produced many documents, reports and forms to assist in the managing and organization of our lab operations. This is (and will be) an enormous help to our Lab Program Manager and general operations of the space as we gorw. This will allow the organization to recruit and sustain a pool of instructors in a much more strategic way. There is still some refinement on these systems as well as proper training in the crucial ‘beta testing’ which our DAS Corps has overseen in his time here so far.

We are still in the process of migrating our policies and procedures to the web as well as documenting and updating our curriculum used in our workshops and other programs. A big hold up has been our move to the new space and the intense growth of our staff, including adjusting to a new workspace this past year. Many staff have had to take on more work and ‘do a little bit of everything’ to keep our programs running while building our capacities. For the most part however, our DAS Corps has been sticking very well to the Activity Timelines of the Project as stated in his VAD.

Taylor Center Media Program Technical Manager

VISTA Name: 
Shannon McCue
Program Start: 
8/2005
Program End: 
8/2006
Project Description: 

As technical manager of the Taylor Center Media program Shannon will manage the equipment flow, checkout and maintenance process as well as provide technical and production assistance to both faculty and students, conducting one on one and workshop instruction in the use of video, computer and web production and editing.

Project Outcome: 

Shannon McCue has served successfully as the technical manager of the Taylor Center Media program. She continues to manage the equipment flow, checkout and maintenance process. She provides technical and production assistance to both faculty and students, conducting one on one and workshop instruction in the use of video, computer and web production and editing. Along with her VISTA partner, she coordinated a digital media mini conference for students, faculty and staff. Shannon also has worked with her VISTA partner, Danielle Martin, to set up and schedule a number of production workshop and learning events in the course of the year [video blogging, video lighting and sound to mention just a few] in addition to working effective in the on-going maintenance of communication flow, production planning and coordination of the Tactical Media project, a project-based learning initiative of the program. Shannon is extremely trustworthy and thoughtful in carrying out her duties. Shannon has made an enormous contribution to the CMT program’s development.

CTC Development

VISTA Name: 
Patrick Otton
Program Start: 
2/2006
Program End: 
2/2007
Project Description: 

The VISTA position will continue to emphasize hardware and basic skills training and as well develop specific content and workshops to train residents in information literacy in accessing, evaluating, and applying information found either on the web or in traditional sources such as a library.

Project Outcome: 

The Vista Volunteer worked with the Center’s director to develop procedures to track new members: We created forms to assist us in our tracking of new members, daily visitors, what users do at PIC@MPV, help desk request, and new wireless card recipients. Tracking this information is valuable when writing grants.

To achieve consistent and uniform services, Patrick also wrote manuals covering standard office practices and policy and procedures.

In order for us to provide local residents with free internet through our wireless infrastructure and access to help desk support; our Vista worked to follow-up on an established collaborative with Wentworth Institute of Technology to secure students interns for our site. Students were paid through the work study program. A win-win for all of us!

CTC Support and Assistance

Organization: 
netCorps
VISTA Name: 
Aliya Abbasi
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Description: 

The VISTA will provide assistance in the form of technology assessments, planning and budgeting, computer repair and refurbishing, securing new and used technology hardware and software through donation and/or purchase, assessing the computer skills of each organization’s staff and providing training to fill in the knowledge gaps, establishing computer networks, both wired and wireless, and enabling the sharing of network resources such as printers and files, setting up email accounts for staff, writing best practice computer/network/security policies and procedures for each organization, identifying funding sources for each nonprofit that will enable them to afford their top-priority technology needs, creating and updating websites, and creating new databases and improving on the data collection and reporting of existing ones. The non-technical services that the VISTAs will provide will be equally important: helping techno-phobes and technology novices ease into the daily use of technology by using a non-intimidating vocabulary and non-judgmental computer-side manner.

Project Outcome: 

To date, this project has accomplished much. Aliya has worked with a variety of nonprofit organizations in Greensboro and the surrounding community, offering direct assistance with technology training, implementation and support. She has coordinated a number of trainings and outreach events, exposing a significant population of nonprofits to this project. She has made connections with other community organizations and foundations, helping to lay the groundwork for making this project a more permanent part of the nonprofit landscape in Greensboro.

Impact Quote: 

Our VISTA experience, a very positive one to date, is helping our organization in a number of ways. Aliya’s placement in Greensboro is allowing us to work with organizations we would not be able to serve otherwise. She is exploring and implementing new strategies that others in our organization can now also use in their own work. She is helping to identify other community resources to take the project beyond its original scope, making sure that the organizations served will continue to benefit long after this project ends.

CTC Program Building, Outreach, and Support

Organization: 
Homeless Prenatal Program
VISTA Name: 
Ellen-Rae Cachola
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2006
Project Description: 

The Americorps VISTA volunteer would expand our program by developing and piloting a technology class for our English speaking clients, the majority of whom are African-American. The goal is to motivate women from the HPP’s English speaking support groups to avail themselves of the resources in the computer lab. To reinforce and extend the class experience, the Americorps*VISTA will create a weblog specifically for these clients where they can share their interests, issues, questions and accomplishments. The weblog community will serve as an additional support group to these parents as they seek ways out of poverty. Through participation in classes, one-on-one instruction, and the weblog, these clients will upgrade their job and communication skills.

Our 2004-2005 VISTA developed a community web-site for homeless families and families in jeopardy of becoming homeless. This website is fast becoming a vital resource to such families and to case managers throughout the region for instant access to resource information. This years Americorps VISTA would expand the use of the website by (1) developing a workshop to introduce the website to new users, both clients and case managers, (2) develop promotional materials such as email announcements and posters, and (3) work with other volunteers to develop a separate homepage, navigation system and additional features just for case managers.

The Americorps*VISTA volunteer would expand our program by developing and coordinating a staff development program in the CTC. Since one of the best practices for strengthening a program such as ours is to invest in our case workers, we are planning to use the CTC for more staff development than in previous years. We will develop an on-line assessment tool to establish a baseline of the technology skills of all staff members. Using this data we will develop and coordinate skill set workshops tailored to staff needs that will be held in the CTC.

To strengthen and expand our job readiness program the Americorps*VISTA will be responsible for developing 5 In order to do this the VISTA will identify, contact and visit appropriate educational and vocational training programs. In addition the VISTA will develop referral protocols between these programs and HPP Case Managers.

The Americorps*VISTA volunteer will also coordinate our “Computers in the Home” Project. This project takes our capacity to give technological skills and experience to the underserved population beyond the walls of our CTC. Funded to provide 40 families with refurbished computers and in-home tech support through ReliaTech, a social venture project of StreetTech of Richmond, CA., participants receive training and, upon completion of the training, computers and periodic in-home tech support. In addition, clients who have received computers for their homes continue to receive training at the HPP’s CTC.

Finally, the Americorps*VISTA will collaborate with our partners in the Community Connectivity Collaboration (One Economy, StreetTech, ReliaTech, Canal Alliance, TechFutures), a group formed to define needs of local CTC’s and find ways to seek funding. The VISTA will attend CCC meetings and other partnering events that may develop.

Project Outcome: 

I know that I speak for the entire staff of the Homeless Prenatal Program (HPP) when I say that Ellen-Rae Cachola has been a boon to our organization. As her supervisor in the Community Technology Center it has been my pleasure to work very closely with her for the last 12 months. She is highly committed, intelligent, and industrious. She is extremely productive and always looking for new projects. She is also very personable, able to interact warmly with the diverse groups of people who work in our program and who come here for services. We are very lucky that she has stayed on at HPP as a part-time employee while she attends graduate school in San Francisco.

Ellen’s duties at HPP have included maintaining two websites, teaching technology in English and in Spanish, maintaining and developing the client database on Microsft Access, as well as trouble shooting technology problems in the lab and at staff workstations. She has worked with the local cable television access station to create PSAs and informational programming. In addition she has created an online generator for our paper forms which allows staff to print forms on an as needed basis from their own computers. She has also designed and published agency literature and signage in english and in spanish.

CTC Support

VISTA Name: 
Greg Osmun
Program Start: 
9/2005
Program End: 
9/2006
Project Description: 

* Assist with management of the BDE computer lab, including software updates, security, and troubleshooting.
* Develop a more streamlined and better organized process for loading the computers that will be going out to families.
* Develop a better system for inventory management using existing technologies such as bar codes or RF.
* Develop a training program for the high school tech interns and assist in their training.
* Develop a better technical support intake process and help implement it.
* Completion of commitment with CWCC and Report.

Project Outcome: 

Greg has done an exceptional job in the organizational structure of our lab, organization with the volunteers and high school interns and we are for the first time ahead on production of our machines. All of our PC’s in our lab are running completely trouble free and updates and viruses have not been an issue.

Greg has done an excellent job in developing a manual for the loading process of the computers for the students.

We have hired two high school interns to work with Greg in the loading and PC maintenance part of the lab. Greg is working with them to develop and learn new skills and procedures for refurbishing the computers we donate.

CTC Support

VISTA Name: 
Rebecca Shuler
Program Start: 
9/2004
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Outcome: 

Our Computers in the Home Project has sustained itself and continues to continue as planned due to the service of our VISTA. Becky has helped coordinate our program’s operations with volunteers and participants. She has helped developed some manuals and curriculum that are helping our staff and volunteers to better operate the program in to the future. Becky has had good success in ensuring that the classes are successfully run and has helped coordinate over 60 classes over the course of the year. Her work has gotten us closer to reaching our goal of providing 300 computers to families. Her service has greatly helped us grow our capacity as we successfully opened a second computer lab in May and allowed us to serve more than 600 participants in the program.

CTC Support and Program Building

VISTA Name: 
Andrea Callopy
Program Start: 
9/2006
Program End: 
9/2007
Project Description: 

Our VISTAs primary role was to enable The Center’s 3 community-based CTCs to meet the specific needs of disadvantaged clients by providing effective volunteer resources.

Project Outcome: 

Andrea has excelled. She has done a wonderful job coordinating our volunteer resources for our CTCs, ensuring our centers are well staffed and open to the public. She has improved our technical capacity by creating a shared calendar in outlook which enables the organization staff to access CTC hours and volunteer information. In order to better support and recognize our volunteers, Andrea has implemented a monthly newsletter that goes out to the public and also volunteer appreciation week in April. In collaboration with the volunteer coordinator Andrea developed a recruitment plan for youth, LEP adults and seniors, which has greatly increased the number of volunteers at our sites and exceeded our recruiting goals.

Impact Quote: 

Andrea has been instrumental in organizing and overseeing our Community Technology Centers. She is always well organized and has developed many of the operating procedures that enables us to make the CTC’s available to the public. In addition she has a lot of enthusiasm for the project and is always willing to help in whatever way she can.

CTC Support and Program Building

VISTA Name: 
Larry Gaither
Program Start: 
1/2007
Program End: 
1/2008
Project Description: 

Our two VISTA members have been instrumental in developing our community technology at the CCNV Homeless shelter. Wildtech has partnered with the Community for Creative Non-Violence the largest homeless shelter in the United States, to establish a community technology center (CTC) for the homeless at the shelter.

Project Outcome: 

Our VISTAs have helped establish the technology center and develop resources for technology access and training programs for the shelter population, as well as other disadvantaged populations utilizing it. They have also laid the groundwork for building a self-sustaining service-learning model where trained members of the homeless community gain work-based learning experiences by performing vital technology repair and training services for local non-profit organizations and government agencies. Because of their work, the program has become famous,. The shelter now has quality computers, internet access and many of the 1300 residents are now getting their own computers. This success has been facilitated by the work of Tony and Larry, who have developed marketing and outreach materials, organized events and developed our list of partners and supporting organizations in the community. They have built the capacity of our organization by helping upgrade our constituent database so that we can better track donors and individuals. In regard to our programs, they have helped develop our curriculum and improve our process for refurbishing and distributing computers to program participants at the homeless shelter.

Transmission Project